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Roast Chicken with Crispy Skin

How to make an ultra-juicy and flavorful roast chicken with impossibly crisp skin.
Course Entree
Cuisine American, Best
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Poultry
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Carb
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

For brine

  • 1900 grams chicken - whole
  • 120 grams salt (about 6 tablespoons table )
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon (zest only)
  • 10 sprigs thyme - fresh
  • 40 grams sugar - light brown (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 cups water

For roasting

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (such as fleur de sel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Use a meat tenderizer or some other heavy object to poud the salt, garlic, lemon zest and thyme together. This releases the flavors from the herbs and aromatics.
  2. Scrape the salt and herbs into a bag that's large enough to hold the chicken. Add the brown sugar and water and swirl around to dissolve the salt and sugar. I prefer using a plastic bag because you can get away with using a lot less brine, but if you'd rather use a bowl or bucket you'll need to make enough brine to cover the chicken.
  3. Prepare the chicken, by tucking the wing tips under the chicken.
  4. With the drumsticks facing you, use a sharp knife to cut hole in the flap of skin on the right side of the chicken. Then cut a hole in the flap of skin on the left side of the chicken.
  5. Thread your finger through both holes from left to right and then use your finger as a guide to pass the right drumstick back through the hole to the left side.
  6. Holding the flap in place, pass the left drumstick through the flap over to the right side. This will require some stretching and contorting but your prepped bird should look like this.
  7. Put the chicken in the brine and then squeeze as much air out of the bag as you can. Seal the top shut and put the chicken in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  8. When the chicken is done brining, remove it from the brine, being sure to drain out any brine in the body cavity. Use paper towels to thoroughly dry the skin and remove any errant pieces of herbs or garlic.
  9. Place the chicken on a wire rack over a baking sheet and stick it in the fridge uncovered for at least 24 hours, or until the skin goes from opaque to translucent.
  10. When you're ready to roast the chicken, put the oven rack in the middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 C).
  11. Rub the whole chicken with the oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
  12. Put the chicken back on the wire rack it was drying on and roast until an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees F (71 C) at the thickest part of the thigh. The amount of time this will take depends on the size of your chicken.
  13. Turn up the heat to 450 F and continue roasting the chicken another 5-10 minutes or until the skin is golden brown and crisp all over.